A Pride Picture-Book Party Guide

Every day is an occasion to feel proud to be LGBTQIA or an ally. Pride Month is an ideal time to share your pride with the children in your life, and, also chat with them about why the city is decorated with rainbow banners. Reading an LGBTQIA-positive picture book (or three) together is one of the best ways we know to do just that.

To get your Pride Picture-book Party started in style, here are six of our all-time favourite LGBTQIA-positive picture books:

Based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap penguins who raised a penguin chick together in Central Park Zoo, AND TANGO MAKES THREE is one of the most challenged books in the US. Bigots may see red. But readers see two male characters build a loving, stable home for their daughter, Tango. These three flightless birds teach kids a memorable lesson in human nature.

One of the first-ever picture books to address ‘trans’ issues, 10,000 DRESSES remains a staple of LGBTQIA-friendly KidLit lists.  Bailey adores dresses and dreams of making magical, magnificent gowns. His birth family tries to crush such dreams. Bailey’s friend Laurel inspires him to see him the joy of being true to who you are inside. This classic tale will resonate with any kid who refuses to dress like everyone else.

Morris Micklewhite loves to wear a tangerine dress around school. While the other kids shun him, he refuses to let them limit his imagination. Morris paints an amazing  space adventure, featuring himself wearing the dress, which prompts invitations to play from his classmates. MORRIS MICKLEWHITE AND THE TANGERINE DRESS is a testament to the importance of embracing our own dreams and each another’s differences.

From the  author of MOMMY, MAMA, AND ME and DADDY, PAPA, AND ME comes DONOVAN’S BIG DAY: the story of a boy’s turn as ring-bearer at his two moms’ wedding. Unlike many other LGBTIA-friendly picture books, it doesn’t present Donovan having two moms or even same-sex marriage as issues that the characters have to somehow resolve. Rather, the situation is treated as a given. This charming tale of how, as Donovan puts it,  “love makes a family” will appeal to every member of the wedding party.

Educator Cory Silverberg and cartoonist Fiona Smyth explain conception, gestation and birth to children without conflating sex and gender. WHAT MAKES A BABY  includes trans folks, and non-traditional means of creating a family. Caregivers are invited to draw upon their own experiences as they read aloud. This widely acclaimed book gives kids the tools to start thinking about a related question: what makes a “family” in today’s world?

A FAMILY IS A FAMILY IS A FAMILY is a captivating take on how “family” is defined today. When a teacher asks her students what makes their families special, their answers cover family make-ups ranging from queer parents to grandparents. Sara O’Leary‘s witty dialogue prevents the book from becoming a preachy litany of “types.” On the back cover, illustrator Qin Leng slyly expands the book’s scope by including a family of dogs.


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